“Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Genesis 18: 10-12
Have you ever nervously laughed when something so extraordinary is told to you that you have a hard time believing it could truly come to pass?
After already a long life-time that had Sarah and Abraham still childless, I can imagine the news that they would have a son in a year was astonishing. Their life experiences had thus far shown them a child of their own becoming an impossibility as time marched on. Today we may flippantly refer to times when things just don’t happen like we expected as “it just wasn’t in the cards,” or “it is what it is.” We may laugh at ourselves while we try to justify in our minds and hearts that our unmet dreams were silly or unrealistic in the first place. Or we laugh at others when suggestions so extraordinary from our own perception have us choking down chuckles while internally we throw water on any flame sparked in our hearts.
The realistic and ordinary become the safe places to navigate rather than the possibility of the extraodinary. Dreams dim as circumstances prevail. Years, maybe even decades pass by and, like Sarah, the womb stays empty. Hope leaves with the passing of time.
But the Nourisher never stops working. Consider the extraordinary small bee that makes fertilization possible from sticks of hair on it’s body that carry droplets of pollen. In time these droplets of pollen reproduce and flourish the necessary plants to nourish our bodies. An extraordinary process from circumstances of a creation with only a two millimetre body. Perplexing but true.
Sarah, worn out and old, perplexed of how God’s promise will fill her womb with a son, laughed at herself. Her laugh may have come from a combination of emotions including joy, irony, and amazement. Later, a son born to her, she reflects on her extraordinary circumstances. “Sarah said, “God brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:8) Is anything too worn out, too old, too broke or even too wonderful for God? Is anything too extraordinary for God?
Instead, it is God’s extraordinary ways with us, especially during uncertain and perplexing situations, that fertilizes our faith. And maybe even erupts in us a laughter from pure joy.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2
Have faith! With God, the extraordinary can truly come to pass.